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Politics : The Haiti feminist organizations say NO to the government’s intimidation offensive

Submitted to AlterPresse on February 8, 2021

During the night of 6 to 7 February 2021, eighteen leading public figures, belonging to key institutions, such as the judiciary and the national police, were arrested, brutalized and detained by order of the authorities. Among them are Mrs. Marie Louise Gauthier, Inspector General of the Police, committed to women’s representation within the institution and to the rights of women prisoners; Me Yvikel Dabresil, Judge at the Court of Cassation, Haiti’s highest judicial body; and Mr. Louis Buteau, a renowned agronomist.

Although the amended Constitution of 1987 mandated that Mr. Jovenel Moïse’s term should end on February 7th, 2021, this wave of arrests was carried out under the pretext of an attempted "coup d’Etat and assassination". This act is akin to an offensive of intimidation and repression carried-out by a president, whose mandate has expired. The Executive is using all means to cling to power, including the villainous decrees of November 2020, on security and intelligence, that aim to infringe on democratic gains.

The signatory feminist organizations and personalities are outraged by these political arrests, evoking the specter of abuses perpetrated by the Duvalier dynasty and post-dictatorship military regimes. They denounce the illegal arrest of citizens, demand the strict observance of their rights as well as the greatest transparency regarding their conditions of arrest and detention.

We say No to despotism! And Yes to the democratic aspirations of the Haitian people!

Port-au-Prince, February 8, 2021.
The petitioners

1. Kay Fanm / Women’s home

2. Solidarite fanm ayisyèn (Sofa) / Solidarity of Haitian women

3. Nègès Mawon / Maroon Black Women

4. Fanm Deside / Determined women

5. Rezo fanm radyo kominotè ayisyen (Refraka) / Haitian women’s community radio network

6. Fanm Yo La -/The women are here

7. Groupe d’appui au développement du Sud (Gades) / Southern development support group

8. Asosyasyon Fanm Solèy d Ayiti (Afasda) / Association of Haitian sun women

9. Fondation TOYA - TOYA Foundation

10. Marijàn

11. Dantò

12. Sabine Manigat, independent feminist

13. Antoinette Duclair, independent feminist